Tamar Valley, Tasmania: Full Guide For Road Trippers

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The Tamar Valley Tasmania is one of the best regions to visit in Tasmania. Located along the Tamar River and stretching from Launceston to Bass Strait, this part of the state is pretty with rolling hills, river banks and many great viewing points.

It’s also the place to go for picturesque Tamar Valley vineyards and great local produce. The rich soil and fertile land here has been feeding Australians since the 19th century. You won’t go hungry here!

Pipers Brook Vineyard

Pipers Brook Vineyard

There’s also a great variety of attractions and small towns to visit. The roads are good and this is the perfect place for a Tasmanian road trip whether you just have time for a day trip or want a longer stay experiencing all the Tamar Valley Tas has to offer.

It’s our favourite region of the state with plenty to do to keep us busy while also having plenty of nice places to stop, relax and enjoy.

Below, we give you full information about everything the Tamar Valley Launceston to Bass Strait has to offer from seahorses to mines to the best vines. You’ll love your time here.

Tamar Valley Map

If you are wondering where is Tamar Valley Tasmania? It’s easy to find. Simply start in Launceston and then head north up the Tamar River until you hit Bass Strait. Everything you go past on the way is the Tamar Valley.

Below is our Tamar Valley Tasmania map which shows everything covered in this guide.

Tamar Valley Wineries

The Tamar Valley wine region is perhaps the best known in Tasmania and for good reason. There are some fabulous wines here and some enjoyable wineries to go visit.

The region is known for its cool climate wines especially Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. If you like these varieties, you’ll want to visit some wineries while exploring the Tamar Valley.

There are currently 32 Tamar Valley vineyard options so far too many to check out in one weekend. Click on the link below to read our guide to the absolute best options whether you just want to taste a couple of wines or want a superb winery restaurant.

Things To Do In The Tamar Valley

There are some great Tamar Valley things to do while visiting this region. Below, we describe the top picks of the Tamar Valley attractions.

Tamar Island Wetlands Centre

Tamar Island Wetlands Centre

Found just outside Launceston, this urban wetlands reserve is one of the things to do Tamar Valley. It features an interpretation centre that allows you to learn more about the value of the wetlands.

Taking a quick 500-metre walk from the interpretation centre will take you to a bird hide with seating where you can easily observe birds from the lagoon as you take a break. The boardwalk and interpretation centre are wheelchair accessible and have disabled toilet facilities.

Overall, this wetlands centre offers a diverse range of activities that are great for adults and kids alike. There are also volunteers here which offer talks and activities on topics like pest fish species Gambusia, wetlands ecology and more.

Hollybanks Wilderness Adventures

Hollybank Wilderness Adventures tree ropes

Tree Ropes

Just a short drive from Launceston, previously known as the Hollybank Wilderness Adventures has a couple of exciting activities at the Hollybank Forest Reserve that are great for people who want to be out there in nature and enjoy fun outdoor activities.

It features a tree ropes obstacle course, zipline and segway tours and mountain biking. Kids can also pick obstacle courses which feature various activity levels. There’s the yellow course (kids ages 4-7), green and blue course (ages 8+), red course (ages 10+) and finally the black course course (ages 13+).

You can read more in our full review here or click here to buy tickets.

Beaconsfield Mine And Heritage Centre

Beaconsfield Mine And Heritage Centre

Beaconsfield is north of Launceston and known for the defunct mine and the miners that were stuck here in 2006.

It’s a 35-minute drive from Launceston, and today, the mine centre stands on the original site of where the mines used to operate. It provides visitors with essential information about Beaconsfield in general, mining, the life of the miners, the disaster that struck in 2006 and the rescue efforts that have been made.

It’s also more than just your average indoor attraction, as it still has a lot of things to see when you head outdoors and around the original mines.

The facility also provides you with fascinating facts about mining presented in a way that it easily engages. There are also interactive activities offered here, such as tunnels to crawl through, levers to pull, and so on.

Overall, this is an interesting attraction that you can take on a self-guided Tamar Valley tour that both adults and kids will enjoy.

Seahorse World

Seahorse World Breeding tanks

Breeding tanks

Located in Tasmania in Beauty Point about 45 minute drive from Launceston, this commercial seahouse farm offers interesting guided Tamar Valley tours for visitors.

To visit the area, take a guided tour that leaves every hour, depending on the time of the year.

The tour lasts for 40 minutes as you get the chance to walk through a couple different rooms, learning about the range of seahorses on display. You can see the breeding tanks (it’s the male seahorses that grow babies on their bellies!), the nursery and finally, the “primary” and “secondary” seahorse tanks as they age.

To cap off your tour, there’s the The Cormorant Café  offering impressive upstair views where you can grab something to eat before you leave.

You can read more in our full review here or click here to buy tickets.

Platypus House

Platypus House platypus enclosures

Getting to see the glorious platypuses swimming up close

Platypus House is a quick 45 minutes drive from Launceston on a pier. Guided tours run on an hourly basis. Although I suggest that you book ahead of your preferred date and time.

Here, visitors would not just have an opportunity to know about the platypuses, but they also can learn about the echidnas as well. The first room will give you a brief introduction of the platypuses and echidnas.

Then, visitors can move along a large room featuring several big tanks for resident platypuses (all rescues). The next room gives you a chance to get up close and personal with echidnas.

Overall, this tour allows visitors to learn and understand these animals and appreciate them as well.

You can read more in our full review here.

Low Head Penguin Tour

Low Head Penguin Tours super close penguins

Super close penguins

Want to get up close and personal with penguins? Then you should definitely go on a Low Head Penguin Tour. The tour takes place every evening right after sunset. This is the only way you can enter Low Head Coastal Reserve which Low Head penguins consider their home to bed down for the night.

A guide will show you around the area and make sure you see plenty of penguins. This can involve sitting on a platform at the edge of the beach or going on to the beach itself and getting quite close to the penguins. Here, the guide will fill you in with information about these penguins while you can be amazed watching them.

There’s also a small gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs at the ticket office. This is definitely one of the best activities in the region and we highly recommend it.

As the tour is held in the evenings, make sure you’re in warm clothes and bring along wet weather gear if there’s any chance of rain.

Click here to read our full review.

Low Head Pilot Station And Maritime Museum

Low Head Pilot Station and Maritime Museum

Low Head Pilot Station and Maritime Museum

The Low Head Pilot Station first came into existence in 1805, it is known to be Australia’s oldest pilot station. Today, it became a museum that’s well-suited for families, as it has something of interest to offer for people of all ages. In fact, there’s more to this museum than you might expect.

You can handle the ship’s helm, sound the fog horn, ring the ship’s bell, and even send out messages in Morse Code.

Overall, this is an incredibly well-thought and attractive museum. Each room of the 13 rooms inside has a theme with items and information that go along with it.

There’s no doubt that the Low Head Pilot Museum is worth the stop.

 

Tamar Valley Itinerary

Day trip itinerary

This itinerary assumes you start your day in Launceston so you are ready to start exploring early and that you don’t mind being busy. If you prefer to take things easier, do the following over two days.

  • Start your day at the Tamar Island Wetlands Centre. Give the legs a good stretch as you walk around and look out for bird life and snakes from the platform
  • Taste a wine or two at nearby Tamar Ridge winery
  • Head on to Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre and learn about mining here
  • Drive to Iron Pot Bay Vineyard for lunch
  • After lunch you have a decision – Seahorse World and Platypus House or Low Head Pilot Station and Maritime Museum coupled up with a visit to Pipers Brook Vineyard
  • Head to Low Head for the nightly penguin tour just before sunset

Tamar Valley from the Mt George lookout near George Town

Some of the Tamar Valley from the Mt George lookout near George Town

Tamar Valley Accommodation

There are some great Tamar Valley accommodation options from Tamar Valley luxury accommodation to Tamar Valley winery accommodation to a Tamar Valley caravan park.

Read all about the best options below.

Getting To And Around The Tamar Valley

It is very easy to visit the Tamar Valley. Launceston is the natural entry point with its own airport and easy access from across the state. If you are coming from Devonport, you can take the B71 instead and head towards Exeter.

A car is required to explore the Tamar Valley. While there are some local buses, it’s going to be hard to see or do much if you are solely relying on them so I recommend bringing your own or hiring a car.

Click here for more information on car rental.

The Tamar Valley is very easy to explore by car with generally great roads but note that some wineries are on unsealed roads so if you are using a rental car when this is not permitted, consider contacting any wineries you plan to visit which are not on main roads to check if they are on a sealed road or not.

We hope you love exploring the Tamar Valley as much as we did. Find more places to discover and explore in Tasmania here.

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